Alcohol Abuse – Genetic Brain Disease or Bad Habit?

This topic may very well be one of the most passionately argued controversies in the addiction community – right up there with politics and religion in the rest of the world. I can tell you if it were simply black and white, the problem would have been “fixed” a long time ago. Alcoholism is really a combination of brain physiology and bad habits involving not only genetic personality traits and vulnerabilities, but learned behavior and “etched” neural pathways in the brain. According to … [Read more...]

Do You Replace One Bad Habit with Another?

Don’t get me wrong, my primary objective with MODER8 and this site and to help you reduce and control the amount you drink…however it works best for you. I encourage people to identify substitutes for drinking that make them feel good, peaceful, or happy. For some people, they can substitute a reasonable amount of food or other behavior as a treat or reward, but way too often, that substitute becomes another excessive bad habit resulting in the same negative feelings, shame and health problems … [Read more...]

Are You Including Rewards in Daily Action Plans?

So maybe you’re good at setting goals and creating action plans to accomplish those goals, but how good are you at including healthy, positive rewards for finishing the tasks that lead to accomplishing your goals? Way too often, we turn to alcohol, food or other unhealthy means of pleasure as our reward or pain reliever. When you are planning your activities for the day, also plan your rewards and positive, happy activities as well. I invite you to use the log sheet that I use to plan out my … [Read more...]

Moderate Drinking vs. Abstinence – Which on is Right for You?


I’m going to be really honest – if you’ve been drinking very heavily for years or decades, tend to binge to black-outs or started drinking at an early age – abstinence is easier.  However, if you REALLY want to be able to drink moderately or socially, then it is a potential option for you if it is something that you are willing to commit to and truly work at – because learning to moderate your drinking takes a lot of work.  But I did it – and you can too. So, having said that, you have to … [Read more...]

Are Your Bad Habits Getting in the Way of Your Goals or Success?

Face of Dog

Think about it – how often do you skip action items on your To-Do list because you just don’t feel like doing them – maybe you were hung over or demotivated from missing your workout and binging on sugar.  Or maybe you let some circumstance in your life trigger you to drink or eat something not on your program or turn to your other bad habit of choice – and you went on a binge for an extended period of time…eventually turning into a daily occurrence. You just completely forgot about your plan of … [Read more...]

Our Brains Need LOVE


Valentine’s Day is just a couple days away and of course, just like every other blogger, I’m choosing to write about LOVE. But I want to talk about LOVE and how we as human beings are wired to feel good from love, and how important it is to find love or the good feelings that we get from love in healthy ways. From a basic neuroscientific perspective, our bodies release a hormone called oxytocin that makes us feel good when we are “in love” or when we have romantic bonding or even social … [Read more...]

How to Stop Letting Your Fears Lead You to Drink


Is fear causing you to drink too much? How many times have you launched into a real doozy of a binge because you were afraid of something such as losing your house or your spouse or your job? You may not have been consciously aware those were your thoughts, but if you stopped and took a mental inventory, you might realize that those were the underlying fears. Did drinking DO anything to prevent whatever you were afraid of from coming true? Not likely – at best it just relieved your anxiety … [Read more...]

Alcoholism and Genetics


Is alcoholism genetic? Is it accurate to say that because your father/mother, grandparents were “alcoholics” that is the reason WHY you have a drinking problem? Not necessarily  - but then again, I don’t know a single person that drinks too much that can say that nobody in their family has had a drinking problem. What we know about genetics and personality traits, including substance abuse – is very limited. Basically because it’s nearly impossible to do the typical scientific studies because … [Read more...]

Breaking Free of Negative Self-Talk and Isolation to Drink Less and Lose the Bad Habits


What you say to yourself has everything to do with your level of success in life – at whatever it is that you are trying to change or accomplish. If you say you are worthless, washed up, stupid, incompetent, fat, ugly, broke…then that is what you will believe and that is how you will act.  Negative self-talk leads to negative self-esteem, and negative self-esteem will only lead to further substance abuse in order to escape your own shame and pessimism. And the only thing worse than isolating … [Read more...]

The Importance of Eating (Correctly) When You Drink


How many times have you drunk on an empty stomach because you either wanted to cut calories or else get a faster, more intense buzz?  How did that turn out for you? I would venture to say that some of your worst drinking episodes and blackouts occurred when you were drinking on an empty stomach.  And ultimately, you probably didn’t enjoy the “buzz” because you got wasted too fast, and the reduction of calories did nothing for you because when your body is metabolizing alcohol, fat metabolism is … [Read more...]

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