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Can I Learn to Control My Drinking?

Alcoholism is a disease characterized by chronic and compulsive use despite negative consequences. We often recognize that our drinking has become a problem, but feel that one day we may be able to drink in moderation. The disease is such that any attempts to regain control over our drinking will ultimately end in powerlessness and unmanageability over our lives.

12-Step recovery stresses the importance of abstinence as the only means of overcoming alcoholism. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains, “We alcoholics are men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking. We know that no real alcoholic ever recovers control. All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals—usually brief—were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. We are convinced to a man that alcoholics of our type are in the grip of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period, we get worse, never better.” We may feel after some time abstinent that we may be able to once again drink in moderation, and we may even be successful for a short period of time. However, the disease of alcoholism is progressive, and we will inevitably lose control once again.

It is important to note that physical dependence and addiction are two separate afflictions. There are those who may become physically dependent on alcohol, but are able to return to moderation. Alcoholics Anonymous refers to this type as hard drinkers. The Big Book explains, “He may have the habit badly enough to gradually impair him physically and mentally. It may cause him to die a few years before his time. If a sufficiently strong reason—ill health, falling in love, change of environment, or the warning of a doctor—becomes operative, this man can also stop or moderate, although he may find it difficult and troublesome and may even need medical attention.”

Many people are familiar with hard drinkers who were capable of returning to moderate use. There are even treatment centers specializing in moderation management. The ability to moderate means that their drinking has not yet crossed the threshold into alcoholism. The prospect of moderate drinking is a dangerous one for those who suffer from alcoholism, as entire abstinence is the only way to overcome the disease.

Your life doesn’t have to be held back by the chains of addiction and alcoholism. You can make the decision to seek help now and begin building a brighter future. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, offers high quality detoxification and residential treatment services that address the disease of addiction from every possible mental, physical, and spiritual angle. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431