Alcohol: Cut Back or Quit?
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.