Several years ago, the founder of Moderation Management, Audrey Conn, found herself in some hot water. She made national headlines after driving her car the wrong direction on the highway in Washington State. Her blood alcohol limit was three times the legal limit. As a result, she accidently killed two people, including a man and his 12-year-old daughter. Sadly, Conn couldn’t recoup from the incident, nor could she handle the demons that caused her addiction to alcohol. She committed suicide a few days before Christmas at her mother’s house.
The incident was a terrible tragedy that sparked a national debate about alcoholism, moderation, and it put an intense amount of scrutiny on Moderation Management and its founder itself. Throughout the entire ordeal, what was forgotten completely was that Conn had recently admitted before the tragedy that moderation had not worked for her. Earlier before the accident, she had begun to attend AA meetings and practice abstinence. Regardless, the ordeal was too much for her to bear, and the tragic deaths that ensued as a result of her actions led to her suicide.
Moderation Management is an organization that promotes moderate, controlled drinking over complete abstinence. According to their website, they do believe there is a distinction between full blown alcoholism and what they deem to be “problem drinking.” Moderation Management seeks to help those who suffer from problem drinking before they become complete alcoholics.
The problem with this theory is that it ignores the notion that many “problem drinkers” in college or high school grow out of it. They were never alcoholics to begin with. They made some poor choices, they had too much fun, but they never had a full-blown need to drink alcohol. Some problem drinkers also drank too much during a stressful period in their life, but were able to snap out of it once circumstances improved. In other words, “problem drinkers” don’t really have a problem with alcohol, per say. They aren’t the ones that need help.
Also, too many alcoholics are reaching out to programs like Moderation Management in the hopes that they can control their drinking. They self-classify themselves as “problem drinkers” without really grasping or coming to terms with their alcoholism. Problem drinkers exist. In fact, many normal drinkers were problem drinkers at one point in their lives. But problem drinkers don’t become alcoholics, most of the time. Alcoholics, however, were always problem drinkers.
Alcoholism exists inherently within the alcoholic. One does not progress to becoming an alcoholic, though they may start out as a problem drinker and then become an alcoholic. That person was an alcoholic to begin with, it’s just that it took time for him or her to grow into their alcoholism. Alcoholics are physically addicted to alcohol; they are not simply binge drinkers, according to Talbott Recovery. Furthermore, alcoholics cannot go long periods without drinking, whereas problem drinkers can go months or years without touching alcohol.
Footprints Recovery, along with other well-respected and well-known addiction centers, believes that alcoholism is a disease and must be treated as such. We do not believe that problem drinkers usually need to worry about moderating their drinking because problem drinkers will resolve their own drinking habits naturally. Alcoholics are problem drinkers who cannot resolve their drinking problems, and in fact, grow to become worse and worse as time progresses.
Alcoholism is unfortunate. It is unfair that some of us are unable to drink at all. Perhaps one day in the future, there will be a magical pill or substance that allows alcoholics to drink in moderation. We are certain that if such a potion became available, alcoholics would happily take it to overcome their desire to drink alcohol compulsively. Most alcoholics wish they could drink like normal people. Most alcoholics wish that they could binge drink once in awhile and not think about drinking again for months. Alcoholics are unable to live by that code.
Therefore, it is dangerous for alcoholics, or even those who suffer from a constant need to drink to try out programs like Moderation Management. We are not saying that Moderation Management has not helped some people, nor are we saying that there are not some positive benefits that come from teaching problem drinkers how to slow down their drinking. What we at Footprints are alleging is that according to the medical community, alcoholism is not a joke. It is not something to mess around with, and it is not something to try and moderate. It is something that must be given up completely.
To be clear, Moderation Management itself has stated that it does not advise alcoholics to try its program. We are simply alleging at Footprints Recovery that we agree with this statement. The problem is that too many alcoholics do try to moderate, and they fail. And then they wonder why.
It is actually easier for alcoholics to give up alcohol then it is for them to try and moderate their drinking. Step One of the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous alleges that, “We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.” Alcoholics don’t have control over drinking. To try and control drinking is insanity for the alcoholic. Abstinence, not moderation, then, is truly the only solution for alcoholism.
Do you try too hard to control your drinking and drug addiction? Do you wish that you could simply practice abstinence and live a carefree, sober lifestyle? Contact Linda Rose at Footprints Recovery today and get the help you need. Call 949-558-4723 to start your journey towards recovery.