Can a problem drinker simply cut down?

It depends. If that person has been diagnosed as an alcoholic, the answer is almost always “no.” Alcoholics who try to cut down on drinking rarely succeed. Cutting out alcohol—that is, abstaining—is usually the best course for recovery. People who are not alcohol dependent but who have experienced alcohol-related problems may be able to limit the amount they drink. If they can’t stay within those limits, they need to stop drinking altogether.

(Adapted from: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/FAQs/General-English/Pages/default.aspx#experience)

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