two people enjoying glasses of white wine

Moderation is an Option

Total abstinence isn’t the only way to change your relationship with alcohol. Moderation is possible for some people, and Ria Health offers it as a treatment option for problem drinking.

How Moderation Works in the Ria Health Program

Use FDA-approved medications to reduce alcohol cravings

Track your drinking with a Bluetooth breathalyzer synced to the Ria Health app

Attend online coaching sessions for support and new coping skills

Get personalized long-term care, and change tactics if one approach doesn’t work

Learn more about Ria Health's alcohol moderation program
Schedule a call with a member of our team to learn if moderation might work for you.

What Does “Moderation” Mean?

Drinking in moderation means sticking to reasonable limits. It means you can enjoy an occasional drink while still reducing negative drinking behaviors, hangovers, and the risk of alcohol-related health issues.

Alcohol moderation management is possible with medications like naltrexone, which can limit cravings. It doesn’t work for everyone—but for some it is the most effective and workable solution to problem drinking.

The general definition of moderate drinking is up to one drink per day for women and up to two daily drinks for men. Learn more about what moderate drinking means.

Who Is Moderation-Based Treatment For?

Moderation management is for anyone who is physically healthy enough to drink moderately and feels controlled drinking would be a more achievable goal. Most fall into one of two categories:

  • People who are concerned about their drinking but haven’t developed full physical dependence on alcohol yet.
  • People who are addicted to alcohol and have found complete abstinence too difficult to stick with. This approach is known as “harm-reduction.”

Can Moderation Really Work?

For many people, the answer is yes. In fact, for those who have found total abstinence too difficult, moderation management can be a life-saver—giving them an achievable way to limit alcohol’s negative impacts.

Alcohol moderation programs are endorsed as an effective option by organizations like the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Sinclair Method (TSM), which involves taking the drug naltrexone to relearn moderation, has a success rate of 78%.

At Ria Health, we’ve already seen many members relearn controlled drinking through our alcohol reduction program. Listen to Ria member Rich K discuss his struggles with abstinence, and his success with moderation through Ria Health:

[Ria’s program] has literally solved a problem for me that I did not think was actually a problem to be solved, ever. I thought that I’d either have to be going through painful, awful uncertainty with continuing drinking, or a very, very painful certainty of being sober all the time…*


* results may vary

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What are Some Benefits of Moderation vs. Abstinence?

There are several reasons why moderation can be a better choice than abstinence:

  • It allows you to have a drink on special occasions or at social events. An occasional drink helps some people avoid overindulgence and stay the course.
  • Alcohol moderation management may be more achievable than abstinence. It can also feel more possible, strengthening your motivation and resolve.
  • Drinking in moderation means that one drink doesn’t make you feel like a failure, which can be a slippery slope to a full relapse.
  • Every drinking problem is different, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Alcohol moderation programs provide an alternative to traditional options like AA.

The idea of giving up drinking completely is intimidating or discouraging for some people. When they try to quit and fail, they may give up on making a change, feeling ashamed and hopeless. Moderation is a more achievable alternative that allows you to drink occasionally while still enjoying a healthier life.

Read more: Moderation vs. Abstinence

Should I Try Moderation?

How do you know if moderation is right for you?

It depends on many factors, such as your personal relationship with alcohol, your health, your life circumstances, and your goals. Get in touch with our team to discuss whether moderation is a possibility for you.

Ria Health Moderation Management
Is My Drinking Normal?

Take our short alcohol quiz to learn where you fall on the drinking spectrum and if you might benefit from quitting or cutting back on alcohol.