Alcohol: Cut Back or Quit?

November 14, 2009 10:07 am 6 comments

Here’s the question: Can a person who drinks too much cut back on drinking, or does one have to quit altogether? Here’s the answer: It depends. The Los Angeles Times reports on research suggesting that different people have different problems with alcohol, and those different problems can be solved by different solutions. In other words, many people can simply reduce their unhealthful drinking to less unhealthful drinking, or posssibly to healthful drinking. The paper reports on a survey of 43,000 which revealed that about 30 percent of Americans had experienced an “alcohol use disorder,” but about 70 percent of those quit drinking or cut back to
safe consumption patterns without treatment after four years or less.Only
1 percent of those surveyed fit the stereotypical image of someone with
severe, recurring alcohol addiction who has hit the skids.  The Times reports that the
data suggest that there are two forms of alcohol disorders: one that
fits the traditional view of alcoholism, in which the need for a drink
takes over a person’s life, and a time-limited form in which people
drink heavily for a period but then cut down and recover.

Read more about the survey.

Read about what to do if you suspect that you are drinking too much.


  • My wife and quit drinking cold-turkey five years ago

  • My wife and I quit cold-turkey five years ago-

  • My Dad quit without any 12 step programs or other help. His drinking was situational- my mom died leaving him with four kids- i was the oldest at 8-
    this was in the late 40’s. No woman wanted to raise somebody else’s kids so everybody he met turned him down when they found out he had 4 kids. He was often drinking too much during this period. Finally he met a woman in a similar fix- she had two kids- so they got married- he stopped drinking- but they had 4 more kids
    that they couldn’t afford.

  • People who drink or use other recreational drugs and can cut back do not have a drug/drink problem. It becomes a problem when a person drinks when they don’t want to. Anyone who drinks heavily should never quit cold-turkey. Alcohol is one of the few drugs that can actually kill you when you try to stop. You can have seizures, suffer from dehydration, heart failure and even a stroke. It is always advisable to detox medically if coming of alcohol.
    If anyone wants to quit they should look in the phone book for professional help not opinions on web sites.Alcoholism is a very serious disease and should be treated as such.



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