Cheers to Tears

Why Language and Lifestyle Choices Matter in Alcohol Treatment and Moderation


If you have ever been to an alcohol treatment program or researched about seeking help with alcohol, you have probably heard a lot of different terms thrown around. But why does language matter in alcohol treatment?

Why should we care about the words we use or avoid when discussing treatment options?

Inclusion and Accuracy

Language matters in alcohol treatment because it impacts how we perceive and approach alcohol use disorders. The words we use can either create barriers to treatment or facilitate access to it.

Using inclusive language means acknowledging and valuing diversity and recognizing the importance of representation. Stigma can hinder people from seeking support, and they may often feel too ashamed or afraid to come forward.

Sometimes it can take a lot of courage for people to even admit they may have a problem with alcohol abuse, so it’s important to use language that validates their experiences rather than dismisses them. Using scientific language also matters because it helps to describe conditions accurately.

When medical professionals use specific terms, it helps us better understand what’s going on in our brains and bodies. It also helps us to navigate potential treatments and understand their effectiveness.

Glossary of Terms Used on Monument

Monument is an online platform designed for people looking to change their relationship with alcohol. They have compiled a glossary of terms to help their users better navigate the discussions about alcohol use.

Some of the terms they use in the glossary include:

– Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD): This is a chronic relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive alcohol seeking and use, despite the negative impact it has on the drinker’s life. – Abstinence: This involves staying away from alcohol completely.

– Harm Reduction: This approach recognizes that not everyone wants to quit drinking and focuses on reducing negative outcomes associated with alcohol use. – Moderation: This involves setting limits on how much you drink while still allowing yourself to consume alcohol.

– Sober/Clean: These terms are often used interchangeably and refer to people who have stopped drinking alcohol. Using the right language can help reduce barriers to treatment and make people feel more comfortable seeking help.

Knowing the correct terms associated with alcohol use can also help individuals better understand their condition and figure out the best treatment plan for themselves.


Changing your relationship with alcohol means changing the way you interact with alcohol. For some, this may mean cutting back on drinking, while for others, it may mean stopping drinking altogether.

Defining “Changing Your Relationship with Alcohol”

The phrase “changing your relationship with alcohol” is a term that encompasses a range of behaviors. For some, it may involve drinking less alcohol or abstaining from it entirely.

For others, it might mean gaining more control over the amount they drink or breaking habits they’ve formed around consuming alcohol. Changing your relationship with alcohol also involves understanding the role alcohol plays in your life.

This may include reflecting on why you drink and how it impacts your relationships, work, and other areas of your life.

Psychological Distancing from Alcohol

Changing your relationship with alcohol can involve reducing your psychological attachment to it. This involves separating yourself from the emotional and mental associations that you may have about alcohol.

One way to psychologically distance yourself from alcohol is to reframe the way you think about it. Instead of seeing alcohol as a reward or a way to relieve stress, you might try to view it as a toxin that is detrimental to your health and wellbeing.

Another strategy is to change your habits and routines. For example, you might make a conscious effort to spend more time sober, or you could try finding alternative activities that don’t involve alcohol.

The Takeaway

Changing your relationship with alcohol is an important step towards a healthier and happier life. It involves understanding the role alcohol plays in your life and making conscious decisions about how much and when you consume it.

Using the right language and gaining a better understanding of the terminology surrounding alcohol use can also help reduce barriers to treatment. So, if you’re looking to change your relationship with alcohol, know that you’re not alone, and small steps can make all the difference.


Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a chronic relapsing brain disease that affects millions of people worldwide. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), AUD is defined as a problematic pattern of alcohol use that causes significant impairment or distress.

Definition of AUD

To be diagnosed with AUD, a person must meet at least two of the 11 criteria outlined in the DSM-5. These criteria include:

– Consuming a larger amount of alcohol or over a longer period than intended.

– Difficulty in controlling the amount or frequency of alcohol consumption. – Continuing to drink despite negative consequences.

– Spending a significant amount of time drinking or recovering from the effects of alcohol. – Experiencing cravings or a strong desire to drink.

Other criteria include tolerating an increased amount of alcohol, experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to reduce or stop drinking, drinking in situations where it is physically dangerous, or neglecting activities and priorities because of drinking.

Signs of AUD

The signs of AUD can vary depending on the severity of the condition. However, some common signs include:

– Drinking alone or in secrecy.

– Experiencing blackouts or memory loss episodes. – Continuing to drink even though it interferes with work, school, or family obligations.

– Neglecting self-care, such as eating and sleeping. – Becoming irritable or moody when not drinking.

If you or a loved one experiences any of these symptoms, it’s important to talk to a medical professional and seek help for AUD.


In recent years, the trend of AF cocktails has gained popularity in bars and restaurants around the world. Instead of ordering a traditional cocktail, customers can now opt for alcohol-free versions.

However, it’s time to reconsider the language that we use when ordering these drinks. Use of AF instead of “Mocktail”

The term “mocktail” has been used for a long time to describe non-alcoholic cocktails.

However, it can be seen as derogatory and dismissive of those who choose not to drink alcohol. It can suggest that these drinks are inferior and merely an imitation of alcoholic cocktails.

Instead of using the term “mocktail,” a better option is to use AF cocktail or alcohol-free cocktail. These terms celebrate the drinks’ unique taste and creativity and acknowledge that they are not a pale imitation of alcoholic beverages.

Value of Alcohol-Free Beverages

Drinking alcohol-free beverages has a range of benefits:

– Health Benefits: Drinking alcohol-based drinks have been linked to numerous health issues, such as liver disease, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of cancer. By drinking alcohol-free drinks, we can reduce these risks while still enjoying a night out.

– Inclusivity: When we choose to drink alcohol-free beverages, we can help to create an inclusive environment. It allows everyone to participate, regardless of whether they choose to drink or not.

– Creativity: Bartenders around the world are getting creative with alcohol-free drinks. The drinks come in various flavors and are prepared with care and consideration.

This not only taste great, but it also broadens our taste palette and introduces us to different ingredients. It’s important to note that drinking AF cocktails doesn’t mean one can’t enjoy the flavors or social experience of drinking.

Whether it’s an alcohol-free gin and tonic or a spirited cranberry mocktail, there’s no reason why we can’t raise a glass, make a toast, and celebrate without alcohol.


In conclusion, language and lifestyle choices matter in the world of alcohol treatment and alcohol consumption. Changing the language used in making AF cocktails improves inclusivity for those who choose not to drink alcohol.

Additionally, understanding what AUD means and its signs will help diagnose and treat individuals with the condition. Alcohol-free drinks are an excellent alternative beverage, offering health benefits, inclusivity, and creativity.

Drinking an AF cocktail can still be a fun and flavorful experience without compromising social participation.


Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a medical condition that affects people from all walks of life. It is a chronic illness that requires treatment just like any other medical condition.

However, there is often a stigma associated with AUD which can hinder people from seeking the necessary medical help.

Medical Approach to Treating AUD

The medical approach to treating AUD is evidence-based and includes a variety of therapies and medications. The goal of treatment is to help people with AUD achieve and maintain sobriety, improve their physical and mental health, and build healthy relationships.

Therapy: Therapy is a vital part of AUD treatment. Evidence-based therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and family therapy have been proven to be effective in treating AUD.

Therapy can help individuals identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors, develop coping skills, and improve relationships. Medication: Medications such as naltrexone and disulfiram have also shown to be effective in helping people manage their AUD.

These medications can help reduce cravings, prevent relapse, and help individuals maintain long-term sobriety. Community: Being part of a supportive community can help individuals with AUD feel less isolated and better equipped to manage their condition.

This can include attending support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or engaging with family and friends who offer positive support.

Removing Stigma from AUD

AUD is a medical condition just like any other health problem. Removing the stigma surrounding AUD is essential to ensuring that people receive the necessary medical care and support.

It is crucial to understand that AUD is not a personal failure or a moral weakness. It is a medical condition that requires treatment and support.

Education is a crucial component of removing the stigma surrounding AUD. We need to educate individuals on the causes, symptoms, and treatments of AUD.

We also need to offer support and resources to individuals who are struggling with AUD and their families. Moreover, we can help eliminate the stigma by discussing AUD in the same way we discuss other chronic illnesses like diabetes or heart disease.

We can foster an environment of compassion, empathy, and understanding.


Recovery from alcohol use disorder is not a straight line. It is a unique and non-linear journey.

Everyone’s journey is different, and there will be ups and downs along the way.

Importance of Personal Journey

It’s important to recognize that the journey towards recovery requires personal investment and diligence. Recovery is a unique process, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Every individual with AUD must find what works best for them, whether it’s through therapy, medication, lifestyle changes, or a combination of approaches. The journey towards recovery also involves taking a holistic approach to healing.

In addition to treating the physical symptoms of AUD, it’s essential to address the emotional and mental aspects of the condition as well. This may involve seeking support from friends and family, engaging in self-care practices, and building healthy relationships.

Mindset Shift from Failure to Progress

A non-linear journey means that there will be setbacks along the way. Instead of seeing these setbacks as failures, it’s important to see them as opportunities for growth and progress.

A mindset shift from failure to progress can help individuals stay motivated and focused on recovery. Building resilience is an essential part of this mindset shift.

Resilience means being able to adapt to change, bounce back from setbacks, and maintain a positive outlook even when faced with challenges. It involves developing coping skills, fostering a support system, and building a strong sense of self.


AUD is a medical condition that requires evidence-based treatment, compassion, and understanding. Through education, support, and the elimination of stigma, we can create a more inclusive environment that promotes recovery and healing.

Recovery is a unique and non-linear journey that requires personal investment and diligence. By embracing a mindset of progress and resilience, individuals with AUD can build a healthy relationship with alcohol and create a more fulfilling life.


For some people, abstaining from alcohol altogether might not be a viable option. For others, it might not be necessary.

Moderation, or reducing alcohol intake to a healthier level, is a good option for individuals who want to continue drinking but not to the point where it negatively affects their health or wellbeing.

Use of Moderation as a Viable Option

Moderation is a viable option for individuals who want to reduce their alcohol intake but don’t want to give up drinking completely. It involves setting limits on the amount of alcohol consumed and sticking to those limits.

Setting limits can help individuals prevent excessive consumption and avoid negative consequences associated with overdrinking. The concept of moderation also enables individuals to take control of their drinking habits.

By establishing healthier habits, people can maintain a positive relationship with alcohol and prevent AUD from developing.

Viewing Moderation as a Positive Step

Viewing moderation as a positive step towards a healthier lifestyle means celebrating progress rather than shaming imperfection. It’s a stepping stone for individuals who want to change their relationship with alcohol.

Instead of looking at it from an all-or-nothing perspective, moderating can be seen as a positive change towards a healthier lifestyle. Moderation is not about brute force or complete abstinence.

It’s about taking small steps to create a more balanced and fulfilling life. Moderating doesn’t require giving up anything altogether, but rather about creating a sustainable relationship with alcohol.


When it comes to changing one’s relationship with alcohol, progress is a long-term goal. The journey towards progress doesn’t have a defined endpoint.

It involves taking small steps each day to improve and work towards a healthier lifestyle.

Prioritizing Long-Term Progress

It’s essential to prioritize progress over short-term perfection. Making gradual changes towards recovery can create a more sustainable change that produces long-term results.

Prioritizing long-term goals can help individuals stay motivated and empowered in the face of setbacks and challenges. Changing one’s relationship with alcohol is a marathon, not a sprint.

It’s important to take time to establish healthy habits, practice coping skills, and develop resilience. It’s not just about the destination but the journey itself.

Discouraging Perfectionism

Discouraging perfectionism can help individuals maintain their motivation to make meaningful changes. Perfectionism can be toxic and prevent individuals from making meaningful progress towards recovery.

Perfectionism is often rooted in fear of failure. By accepting imperfection, individuals can use failure as an opportunity for growth and progress.

Instead of feeling discouraged by setbacks, individuals can become empowered to make meaningful changes. Moreover, perfectionism is unrealistic and sets unachievable expectations.

Instead, a focus on progress rather than perfection can help individuals celebrate small successes along the way, increasing their motivation to continue making improvements.


Moderation and progress over perfection are crucial steps towards changing one’s relationship with alcohol. Moderation, when viewed as a positive step, can become a stepping stone towards a healthier lifestyle.

Prioritizing long-term progress instead of short-term perfectionism can help individuals maintain their motivation to make meaningful changes. Embracing progress over perfectionism is empowering and allows individuals to make healthier choices every day.


Changing one’s relationship with alcohol is a significant accomplishment that requires strength, courage, and dedication. It’s something to be proud of, not something to be ashamed of.

Instead of viewing AUD as a source of shame, individuals can shift their perspective and view their progress towards recovery as a superpower.

Changing Relationship with Alcohol as an Accomplishment

Changing one’s relationship with alcohol is a significant accomplishment that requires hard work and dedication. It is an accomplishment that deserves recognition and celebration.

It takes courage to identify and address AUD, and making progress towards recovery should be acknowledged as a significant achievement. Individuals who change their relationship with alcohol develop a better understanding of themselves and their emotions.

They learn how to manage stressors and develop healthy coping mechanisms. They learn how to prioritize their well-being and make meaningful changes towards a healthier lifestyle.

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