Moderation Management (MM) is for problem drinkers who want to reduce their drinking. MM is non-profit and offers peer-run, non-12 step support groups.
It’s an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). And to other 12-step programs which demand total alcohol abstinence for life. Courts consistently hold AA to be a religious group. This is a problem for many problem drinkers. On the other hand, MM is neither religious nor anti-religious.
Audrey Kishline founded MM in 1994 after consulting many experts. MM is non-dogmatic. It believes some problem drinkers are successful only by abstaining. Therefore, it offers the choice of moderation or abstinence.
Some people will find that they’re unable to drink in moderation. Some members who choose abstinence remain in MM. Others find an abstinence-only group to attend.
MM’s process of change is based on the advice of experts and research facts. You don’t need to take them in order.
- Keep a diary of your drinking to help learn when your problems with drinking occur.
- Understand what moderation is. To do so, look at MM’s limits of drinking in moderate.
- Consider whether moderation or abstinence seems the better goal for you.
- Make a list of the problems drinking has caused you. Also make a list of the benefits you expect from moderation.
- Start on a period of abstinence of 30 days or more. This helps you experience the positives of not drinking. During this time you can work through some steps to help you achieve moderation later.
- Learn skills for avoiding drinking when you don’t choose to do so.
- Learn skills for controlling drinking when you do drink.
- Identify triggers that lead you to over-drink. Then develop means to either avoid or neutralize them.
- Develop your own personal rules that will keep your drinking moderate. Start new spare-time activities to displace drinking.
- If and when you have slips, do a post-mortem to see what went wrong. Then change your drinking guidelines if needed.
- At the end of your time of abstinence, you can start drinking again cautiously. Be mindful of your limits and personal rules for drinking. Maintain a high degree of attention to your drinking during this period. That including keeping a diary.
Research shows that most MM members successfully moderate their drinking.
For more options, visit Treatments for Alcoholism: Resources, Descriptions, & Links.
Resources: Moderation Management for Problem Drinkers
Hester, R. et al. A web application for moderation training. J Sub Abuse Treat, 2009, 37(3), 266–276.
Humphreys, K. and Klaw, E. A study of the Moderation Management. J Studi Alc, 2001,2 62(4), 528–532.
Kishline A. Moderate Drinking. Moderation Management Guide. NY: Crown, 1995.
Rotgers, F., et al. Responsible Drinking. Moderation Management. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 2002.