Methods Alcoholics Use to Try Controlling Their Drinking

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Unfortunately, alcoholics will never be able to control their alcohol consumption. They will never be like those drinkers who can just have one or two drinks and be done. Controlled drinking just will never be posssible. Alcoholics aren’t able to drink like other people without the diseases of alcoholism. They lose control before the alcohol even touches their lips and can’t get it back. Many alcoholics will try just about anything to control their drinking, with the delusion that is even possible, even though it never can be. Addiction rehab can help you overcome the addiction, but nothing can cure it.

Finding out some of the ways other alcoholics have tried to control their drinking might be able to save you even further despair. Chapter 3 of the Big Book states, “Here are some of the methods we have tried: Drinking beer only, limiting the number or drinks, never drinking alone, never drinking in the morning, drinking only at home, never having it in the house, never drinking during business hours, drinking only at parties, switching from scotch to brandy, drinking only natural wines, agreeing to resign if ever drunk on the job, taking a trip, not taking a trip, swearing off forever (with and without a solemn oath), taking more physical exercise, reading inspirational books, going to health farms and sanitariums, accepting voluntary commitment to asylums — we could increase the list ad infinitum.”

Changing the Type of Drinks or Limiting Drinks

As mentioned above, some of the ways alcoholics try to control their drinking are to drink beer only, switch from scotch to brandy, and drink only natural wines. Some people believe that if they drink something lighter or with a little less of alcohol percentage in it, that will somehow help them control their drinking. They may convince themselves it is healthier for them. Alcohol is alcohol. Changing the type of drinks won’t help an alcoholic in any way.

Limiting the number of drinks won’t help either. The reason for this is because an alcoholic has no control over their drinking. Once they start consuming alcohol, they don’t stop. They can tell themselves they are only going to have one drink, but it rarely happens that way.

Where and When to Drink

Some ways an alcoholic might try to control their drinking include never drinking alone, never drinking in the morning, drinking only at home, never drinking during business hours, and drinking only at parties. Alcoholics might think that if they only drink in certain locations or at certain times, they won’t drink as much. While some alcoholic can start only drinking at parties, for example, they still can’t control their drinking while at those parties.

Other Agreements Alcoholics Make

Other agreements alcoholics might make include agreeing to resign if ever drunk on the job, taking a trip, not taking a trip, swearing off forever (with and without a solemn oath), taking more physical exercise, reading inspirational books, going to health farms and sanitariums, and accepting voluntary commitment to asylums. However, none of these things work. An alcohol addiction doesn’t just disappear with motivational books, asylum stays, exercise, or making a promise to oneself. Alcoholics need rehab help to overcome the addiction.
Stop making empty promises to yourself that won’t last. If you have an alcohol addiction, there are treatment programs available to help.

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Picture of Esra Ahmed - MS, NCC, LPC, MHSP
Esra Ahmed - MS, NCC, LPC, MHSP

Experienced Clinical Director with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry. Skilled in Anger Management, Healthcare, Medicine, EMDR, and Life Transitions. Strong healthcare services professional with a Masters Degree focused in Psychology from The University of Memphis.

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