Is Drinking in Moderation Possible for Alcoholics?

If you’re ready to stop drinking and willing to get the support you need, you can recover from alcoholism and alcohol abuse—no matter how heavy your drinking or how powerless you feel. And you don’t have to wait until you hit rock bottom; you can make a change at any time. Whether you want to quit drinking altogether or cut down to healthier levels, these guidelines can help you get started on the road to recovery today. While some people experience very few withdrawal symptoms, others may suffer from more serious side effects.

What happens if you start drinking again before your BAC level returns to zero?

Raises Your Blood Alcohol Level

Symptoms appear to be worst when blood alcohol levels return to zero ( 3 , 4 ). The theory behind the “hair of the dog” hangover remedy is that if you drink more alcohol, your blood alcohol levels will rise and you will no longer experience hangover symptoms.

You wouldn’t expect that you could self-treat hypertension or diabetes without the help of medical professionals. If you need support, help, or have questions, please contact our team at The Recovery Village. While relapsing can bring about shame and feelings of failure, a relapse is generally accepted as an expected part of the recovery process for most people. It can be compared to someone having a flare-up of their diabetes or hypertension symptoms. The earlier the signs of an alcohol relapse are recognized in yourself or someone you love, the sooner you can take action. The sooner you take action, the greater the likelihood of maintaining long-term recovery.

How to help someone stop drinking

You might be in denial of the possibility of a future relapse. Addiction, like all chronic diseases, carries the risk of relapse. Overcoming substance and alcohol use disorder is difficult. You might have been sober after treatment for three months before a relapse. Now that you have been in addiction recovery, you likely have a strong support network to help you through.

Many people come to use alcohol to relieve stress because it is effective in the short-term. It’s not a long-term solution and that’s where getting into health comes in. At the same time, it is effective in the short-term, so more people are turning to alcohol, which again, is legal, it’s socially acceptable.

How Drinking Affects the Body of a Recovering Alcoholic

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually start within hours after you stop drinking, peak in a day or two, and improve within five days. But in some alcoholics, withdrawal is not just unpleasant—it can be life threatening. Most people who try to moderate use without lowering tolerance do not find much success. You are already aware that it takes more alcohol to get the same buzz you used to get.

This hope may disrupt optimal recovery and keep the individual from moving forward in their recovery. Into Action is an addiction treatment center specializing in personalized treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, conveniently located in Houston, Texas and led by experienced master’s level counselors and medical professionals. In a medically supervised detox program, a team of healthcare professionals will going back to drinking after being sober watch over you as your body processes the remaining toxins from alcohol. They will also give you medications that can help ease physical pain, stabilize your mood, combat depression, and help you sleep better. Your medical care team will also provide you with the right amount of fluids to prevent and reverse dehydration and ensure you have balanced meals that can help restore your nutrition levels.

What Happens When an Alcoholic Starts Drinking Again?

For example, delirium tremens is one of the most severe of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It can surface within the first 48 hours after your last drink and involves confusion, severe shaking, hallucinations, and high blood pressure. Although delirium tremens is uncommon, it can be life-threatening. Heavy drinkers who suddenly stop drinking may experience any range of dangerous symptoms, so it’s important for those experiencing withdrawal to undergo medically-assisted detox.

How many drinks a week is considered an addiction?

Heavy Alcohol Use:

For men, consuming more than 4 drinks on any day or more than 14 drinks per week. For women, consuming more than 3 drinks on any day or more than 7 drinks per week.

What that means, though, is that a lot of us when we’re drinking, especially in bars or other places where we’re not controlling what we’re pouring, we’re often getting actually larger than that in standard drink units. For example, if you go to a restaurant and a lot of higher-end restaurants do these just absolutely massive pores of wine that are like nine-ounce pours, and so that’s almost two standard drinks if it’s a 12% glass of wine. What that means is you think you’re just having two drinks at the restaurant, but you’re actually having almost four drinks. A lot of people don’t even recognize what to log because so many of our drinks now are actually more than a single standard drink. How that translates is roughly a five-ounce glass of 12% wine 12-ounce glass or a can or bottle of regular beer at about 5% alcohol, and about one and a half ounces of 80 proof liquor. The thing that I use as my rubric is, so there’s obviously a longer assessment the diagnostic system to diagnose someone with an alcohol use disorder, which I’m sure the Cleveland Clinic outlined.

Lessons From Drinking Again After a Sober Month

I have found that I do not drink in the same way as I once did, or for the same reasons, and certainly not as frequently. I have been clean and sober in NA and AA for over 10 years, relapsed into chronic heroin addiction for 6 years prior to that. I am 36 now, have been involved in the 12 steps since the age of 20…so lots of meetings. Consciously or not, both of us have been making it every day, and we’ve both strung together quite a few 24 hours taking the safe bet. I’ve been choosing sobriety for long enough to discover that for me, not drinking is more than a safe bet — it is, in fact, a kind of jackpot. But the difference between us isn’t how long we’ve been doing it but the way we frame it.

  • It sounds impossible for an inanimate object to have power over someone’s life, but that is how the disease of alcoholism works; the body begins to physically and psychologically crave the drug.
  • But in some alcoholics, withdrawal is not just unpleasant—it can be life threatening.
  • Ultimately, it is always safer for problem drinkers to completely abstain from alcohol in order to avoid the risk of relapse.
  • These symptoms, which often begin 8 to 24 hours after your last drink, generally include insomnia, headaches, fatigue, and increased anxiety.
  • Today, I’m grateful for my sobriety and the sparkle it brought to my life.
  • Given it’s legal, it’s widely available, it’s socially accepted.


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