Is abstinence the only option? Moderate alcohol drinking is possible and there’s help

I can’t even think of how many times I’ve heard the notion that complete, total, abstinence should be the only goal for all people who abuse drug or alcohol. This idea is so pervasive that most addiction treatment providers actually expel clients for relapsing, a notion that makes no sense to me especially if you believe in the idea that addiction is a chronic disease. In fact, even most research institutions and well-informed providers use total abstinence as the marker for addiction treatment success. The thing is that the amount of alcohol or drug use per se is not a part of the definition of addiction or abuse (other than in the “using more than intended” factor but even there an absolute amount isn’t introduced) and I don’t think it should be a necessary part of the solution either.

When I first set about writing this article, many of the issues I was going to bring up had to do with research on alcohol relapse patterns, my own story, and other evidence I’ve already introduced on All About Addiction. Fortunately for us, some recent research about Moderation Management and a newly developed website application component introduced me to some new evidence regarding moderate alcohol drinking that will allow us to look even more deeply into the problem. Continue reading “Is abstinence the only option? Moderate alcohol drinking is possible and there’s help”

Duchovny out of rehab

Well, it seems that David Duchovny completed his month log rehab stint for sex addiction. In this story, no further details are given regarding his reasons for entering treatment in the first place. But I’m sure we all wish him well, hoping that he’s been given some tools to deal with his problems.

As I noted in a previous posts about sex addiction, the problem can be difficult, sometimes even more so than drug addiction because sex is an activity the addict is still supposed to engage in, only in a “healthy” manner. Unlike the drug addict, abstinence is not a long term option for most sex addicts. I’ve talked before about whether abstinence needs to be the only option we talk about even when it comes to drug addiction ( think not), but when sex addiction is the topic, anything other than relatively short term abstinence in certainly not the ideal.

Again, I think there are strong parallels between sex addiction and substance abuse and hopefully, our ideas regarding proper recovery from both will evolve beyond the black and white state they are currently mired in.