Who is this program for?
Our Alcohol Moderation Program is for high-functioning adults who are concerned about their drinking and want to drink less or not at all to avoid negative consequences and improve their overall health. It is ideal for problem drinkers who are not physically dependent on alcohol, including those in the early stages of acknowledging that drinking is a problem. Participants in the program can attend ourweekly Alcohol Moderation Group (described below), schedule individual sessions by appointment, or do both.
Can the program work together with outside treatment?
Yes, absolutely. We strongly encourage clients already involved with outside practitioners to continue their individual therapy, medication, and/or other needed services while participating in the program. We welcome opportunities to work collaboratively with medical and mental health professionals in the community whose patients come here for supplemental group treatment and/or other specialized services. For clients not involved in outside treatment, we can provide individual therapy and/or other clinical services, as needed, or refer them appropriately to other caregivers.
The Alcohol Moderation Group
This group incorporates research-proven strategies to help participants learn how to moderate their drinking within safer limits and/or work incrementally toward stopping completely. The groups offer a combination of education, skills-training. peer support, and professional guidance. In addition to focusing on drinking behavior itself, the group also provides an opportunity to addresses stressful life circumstances and emotional issues that may contribute to unhealthy drinking patterns.
Is this approach effective?
Yes. Research shows that the overwhelming majority of probem drinkers are not alcoholics and that a professionally guided attempt at moderation is often the best way for them to find out for themselves whether moderate (less risky) drinking is a realistic and attainable goal or whether stopping completely (abstinence), at least for a while, is actually a better choice. Studies in the U.S. and elsewhere have shown that harm reduction strategies can be very effective in helping problem drinkers reduce their alcohol consumption to safer levels, avoid negative consequences, and improve their overall health.
What are the eligibility requirements?
Candidates for the program must be at least 21 years old, with reasonably high levels of psychosocial functioning, not dependent on alcohol or other drugs, and not suffering from serious psychiatric illness. All clients must be seen for an intake interview to establish initial rapport, determine eligibility, and provide an orientation to how the group works and how to get the most out of group participation.
Length of participation in the program is open-ended, but usually 12 weeks or longer. Groups meet once a week in the evening. Average group size is 6-8 clients. Individual sessions are scheduled by appointment.
Information and Referral
For more information or to refer a client, please call our NY or NJ office or fill out the secure online Contact Us form.
Also, please view Dr. Washton’s recent article published in the Huffington Post : “Mindful Moderate Drinking—How to Drink Less, Enjoy it More, and Reduce the Risks” written together with his colleague, Dr. Michael Ascher.