How to Moderate my Drinking. I Have Failed Before, Why is this Different?
I am the first to admit and preach that trying to control or moderate your drinking is not possible! Many years of practicing psychiatry, as well as living my life as a human being, I know as well as anyone else, that moderating or changing a behavior is really difficulty. Then you combine genetics into the equation and one is set up for standing no chance by themselves at achieving the goal of consistently moderating their drinking.
Over the past three years of my practice, The Sinclair Method has proved to be the missing link in the ability for someone to modify an extremely strong behavior or addiction to alcohol, drugs, porn, sex and anything else that people tend to become addicted to. As much as everyone vows to moderate their drinking each New Year's Day, frankly, the success rate is dismal. That same dismal rate of success for changing a long-standing habit exists outside of New Year's and instead, we as humans fail to change our unhealthy behaviors all of the time.
This leads me into the explanation of why The Moderation Method is so successful, which, in turn, makes it extremely exciting. The brain is complicated, obviously! I will break it down into a couple of easy-to-understand concepts that will hopefully illustrate the point I am going to make regarding why trying to moderate our drinking by ourselves is virtually impossible and the same goes for moderating any other problematic behavior such as moderating watching porn, moderating using drugs, moderating eating snack food...or, you name it!
The Moderation Method uses The Sinclair Method as the foundation of the program and it really takes an approach that attacks the biological aspect of addiction in order to moderate the use of anything or any type of addictive behavior. By addiction, I will clarify that I am referring to any behavior or habit that is something you feel is a behavior that needs adjustment in order to be healthier.
Let's talk about science and neuro-biology for a couple of minutes. The two major parts of the brain are the cortex (which is the massive amount of brain matter that essentially makes human and is on the surface of the brain), and the primitive part of the brain (which is the most deep and primitive part of the brain). In a nutshell, the cortex is what makes human beings different than animals in that it provides us with insightful thinking, logic, reasoning, language, memory and all of the types of special attributes that humans have.
Within the cortex, we have a skill known as willpower which is essentially a skill that we have acquired that enables us to exert control over our behaviors, even if our natural tendency is to behave in a different way. Let's talk about this in the context of drinking alcohol or specifically how to moderate your drinking.
Problematic drinking of alcohol is a consequence of three major components. First, there is a genetic component that dictates the specific circuitry in the brain that is there when one is born. Some brains are more susceptible to becoming addictive to alcohol than other types of brains. This is based on family history and is out of anyone's control.
Second, there is a learned behavioral component that causes our brains to desire alcohol after years of the same routine, which includes drinking alcohol and reaping the reward of alcohol. This reward can be relaxation, a calming effect, euphoria, stress relief, confidence or any positive effect you can imagine. The longer this behavior is continued, the more the brain learns to desire alcohol.
Third, alcohol use is a potent tool for coping with unpleasant emotions and feelings. The origin of the discomfort usually stems from elements occurring during childhood, young adulthood or traumatic adult situations. In short, alcohol helps numb the unpleasant thoughts and feelings we may have.
As much as we all desire to be successful at moderating any behavior, it is frankly an extremely difficulty task. In the case of alcohol, it becomes a: willpower vs. primitive need/drive to cope battle. Ultimately, willpower loses out the majority of the time. This is also why traditional alcohol treatment fails so much of the time. Traditional treatment provides no answer to address the extremely potent drive to drink from the most primitive biological center for driving addiction.
The Moderation Method, which is founded on The Sinclair Method, targets this primitive addiction part of the brain. The method acts by forcing the addiction part of the brain to "un-learn" its desire to use alcohol to cope or to provide such desirable feelings. Over the course of weeks and months, our brains learn to essentially disregard the part of the brain that drives addictive behavior.
With this addictive part of the brain essentially shut down, our willpower is able to drive the behavior and choices that we really want to initiate. This means that we have full control over choosing the behaviors that we want to do. Without this component and very powerful method, willpower is realistically not strong enough to over-power the deepest part of our primitive brain's addiction center.
How do I moderate my drinking or control my drinking? The answer to this question is The Moderation Method since it is the only way we can over-power that potent part of the brain that drives unhealthy behaviors.
The source of much skepticism is the fact that moderation has been tried for decades and decades unsuccessfully. We completely agree that moderation without shutting down the addiction center of the brain is a lost cause. However, with our ability to shut down and control the primitive addiction center of the brain, moderation becomes absolutely possible and this opens up the possibility to stay completely sober or drink moderately--with the equally great success rate of 80%!
Moderating your drinking is now a possibility and a realistic option so do not let people tell you that it is not possible or silly. The Moderation Method will help you achieve your goal no matter what your desire is and help you sustain success over the course of time.
Please visit the rest of our site at The Moderation Institute to learn all of the details surrounding our method which has unlocked the barrier to true successful alcohol treatment.
Michael Yasinski, MD