What is Moderation Management?
Moderation Management is a non-profit organization that helps people reduce their alcohol consumption. It was founded in 1994 as a way to provide an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous.
The basic premise behind MM is that complete abstinence from alcohol doesn't work for everyone. Instead, they offer support and methods to allow members to moderate their drinking habits. They believe that people should be free to choose the best way to address their alcoholism. According to moderation management, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to controlling alcohol intake.
Moderation Management subscribes to an approach that focuses on behavioral changes. Members are encouraged to support each other and offer tips and advice. They teach members what early risky behavior looks like and how to identify it and avoid it.
Does Moderation Management Work for Alcoholics?
This is a difficult question to answer. There are those who enjoy singing the praises of the MM program. For these individuals, learning how to control their drinking has made a great impact in their lives. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't some bumps along the way in getting to that point.
Many who choose Moderation Management struggle with getting control of their drinking.
It can sometimes take years to but the behavioral modifications in place. Relapses back into heavy drinking behaviors are still very much present for MM members.
Experts believe that there is a time and a place for Moderation Management. However, they also believe that true alcoholics are best served to enter a program where abstinence is the focus. Doing so will put them in a much better position to heal from alcoholism.
What is Alcoholics Anonymous?
Alcoholics Anonymous often goes by the acronym, AA. It is an international fellowship of both men and women who have drinking problems. The organization is self-supporting and non-professional. Membership is open to anyone who needs help with alcoholism recovery. There are no fees to join, and meetings are held all over the world. AA is even available online.
AA focuses on spirituality, but not on a religious experience. They are focused on more than just abstaining from alcohol. Rather, they want to see members experience recovery from alcoholism. According to their text, “The Big Book,” this only happens through a spiritual awakening.
The spiritual awakening is achieved by going through all of the 12 Steps outlined in The Big Book. Members are encouraged to attend meetings every week and participate while they're there. The meetings themselves are very informal, and they're run by alcoholics. There are different types of meetings. These include speaker meetings, meetings that go over The Big Book text, and sharing meetings.
AA attendees are also encouraged to find a sponsor. This is someone who has overcome alcoholism themselves, who can provide them with support. Sponsors must be of the same sex, and regular meetings are highly encouraged.
In order to understand how AA works, it's important to understand the 12 Steps themselves. The 12 Steps are:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all the persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure themselves or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His ill for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in our affairs.
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Relapse and Recovery from Relapse
Alcoholism is a chronic, relapsing condition. In many people, relapse is going to happen. However, if and when it does, that doesn't mean there are no more recovery options.
First of all, it's important to keep recovery and relapse in perspective.
Far too often, people will slip and have one drink. As a result, they go ahead and have six more. They tell themselves that the one drink was enough to push them over the edge. That doesn't necessarily have to be the case. A one-drink slip doesn't have to lead to a complete relapse. Recovering from alcoholism often involves slips, and individuals need to keep this in mind.
A relapse or a slip does not mean total and complete failure. There are those who will slip and it's enough to drive them back to drinking. For these individuals, they may need to go back to inpatient alcoholism treatment programs. This can happen many times, and it's actually quite common.
There are ways to recognize when a relapse might be creeping up on you. You can look for the following:
- Starting to think fondly about drinking again.
- Believing that it's OK for you to use without reverting back to active alcoholism.
- Getting in touch with old friends that you used to drink with.
- Becoming defensive and denying that you ever had a real alcohol problem.
- Experiencing changes in your behaviors, such as becoming depressed or anxious.
- Spending a lot of time by yourself.
- Losing interest in things you really enjoy doing.
- Going through withdrawal again, long after the symptoms have passed.
- Starting to believe that your alcohol rehab probably didn't really work for you.
Relapse happens to everyone in recovery. If you slip up, or even if you relapse, take the proper steps to get right again. Talk with your sponsor. Tell your counselor. Most of all, forgive yourself, because you are certainly not alone.
Alcohol Withdrawal Information
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are what occur when you stop drinking alcohol. They are why it's so dangerous to stop drinking on your own. Alcohol withdrawal is different for everyone who experiences it. It can even differ between drinking cessation attempts.
Alcohol withdrawal can begin to occur between 6 and 8 hours after the last drink. Many times, alcoholics will wake up in the morning and be in the early stages of withdrawal. This leads them to believe that they know what withdrawal symptoms are going to feel like for them. What they don't realize is that these symptoms are progressive. They eventually get worse. Also, additional symptoms are likely to surface as time goes on without alcohol.
Some common alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:
- Feeling irritable or angry
- Feeling shaky
- Symptoms of depression
- Feeling anxious or nervous
- Feeling very tired or fatigued
- Experiencing mood swings
- Having nightmares or other sleep disturbances
- Brain fog or confusion
- Getting frequent, painful headaches
- Losing your appetite
- Upset stomach with nausea or vomiting
- Hot or cold sweats
- Tremors in the hands
- A rapid heart rate
These symptoms may or may not all present at once. Again, everyone is different. Usually, two or more symptoms are present when alcohol is stopped.
After some time has passed, a more severe form of alcohol withdrawal can present itself. This is called delirium tremens. It is often referred to as going through the DTs. The DTs can be very dangerous. If these signs begin, it is so important to get to an emergency room right away. DTs can be fatal if left untreated.
Some signs of delirium tremens include:
- Becoming extremely agitated
- Spiking a fever
- Having hallucinations or delusions
- The onset of seizures
- Becoming severely confused
- High blood pressure
Alcohol withdrawal occurs because the body has spent so much time expecting alcohol. With higher normal alcohol consumption levels, withdrawal symptoms can be much worse. They can also be worse for someone who has been drinking alcohol excessively for a long time.
Scientifically speaking, alcohol withdrawal happens because of increased dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain. Dopamine and serotonin are two chemicals that the brain normally produces on its own. Alcohol causes surges in these levels. Eventually, the brain no longer produces them.
When alcohol consumption is stopped abruptly, it can come as quite a shock to the body. This is when withdrawal begins. With proper treatment withdrawal symptoms can be addressed and significantly decreased. Over time, alcohol withdrawal will subside.
How Do I Find an Alcohol Rehab Near Me?
Now that you have all the information you need, you may have one final question: Where can I find an alcohol rehab near me?
It's great that you feel ready to talk with someone about your alcoholism. It takes so much courage and strength to get to this place. If this is how you feel, and you're ready, you're to be commended.
It's important to get in touch with a local alcoholism treatment program that you can trust.
Here at NorthPoint Recovery, we've been able to help a countless number of alcoholics. Many of these individuals were people who felt as though they'd lost all hope. They didn't think there was anything they could do to recover from their addictions. Our higher than average success rates prove that our method of treatment works well.
We can talk with you about the type of alcohol rehabilitation that would be right for you. If you have any additional questions about alcohol rehab, we'd be happy to answer them for you.
Are you ready to talk with someone about starting rehab for alcohol? If you are, or you have additional questions, please contact us right away.
Talk to a Rehab Specialist
Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.