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Individual differences |
Methods | Statistics | Clinical | Educational | Industrial | Professional items | World psychology |
Moderation Management is a free-of-charge, non-profit support group that has been around since 1994.
MM today is essentially a harm reduction program which welcomes anyone who is concerned about their drinking regardless of level of consumption. MM feels that individuals will be most successful at attaining their goals with alcohol when these goals are chosen by the individual. MM will support any goal chosen by the individual, whether that goal is total abstinence, healthy moderation according to the MM limits, or simple harm reduction. Thus, MM is proactive in approaching alcohol users "where they are at." MM believes that "better is always better", and that "any positive change" is to be applauded.
About the programEdit
One of the first things participants in MM are encouraged to do is chart their drinks so that they will know exactly where they are at, and so that they will be able to see progress as they reduce their levels of drinking. MM has sometimes been called "Weight Watchers" for alcohol.
Traditional abstinence based programs seem to have high attrition rates since participants in such programs may not view total abstinence as either a desirable or an attainable goal. MM on the other hand seeks to help participants find desirable and attainable goals.
Rather than putting forth unattainable goals and setting up people for failure, which leads to remorse, which leads to more drinking, MM encourages people to set doable goals and accomplish them. Sometimes it can be the first abstinence day a person has done in a decade. And one can lead to three can lead to a week as the person's confidence grows. Sometimes it can be a gradual reduction in the number drinks consumed per day by one drink per day. Other MMers jump right in and do a 30 day abstinence period right from the start.
Some who come to MM are not daily drinkers or even terribly heavy drinkers, but rather are people who are seeking out overall health through developing healthy eating habits, healthy drinking habits, and healthy exercise habits. These people can also benefit greatly from an environment which is supportive rather than censorious.
At some point most MMers opt to do a 30-day abstinence period to cleanse the body and clear the mind. A 30 day abstinence period can be done at anytime, but many MMers opt to do one annually in January, starting the New Year over again fresh.
MMers are encouraged to plan their drinking sessions carefully. Driving with ANY blood alcohol content is an absolute taboo in MM. MMers are always encouraged to arrange any transportation ahead of time when not drinking in the home. Indeed, one of the most fundamental tenets of MM is to never put one's self or others at risk, and to always put safety first.
MM does not require a lifetime membership. When one feels one has mastered the art of moderate drinking one is free to move on with life. Should anyone ever need a "tune up" a few years down the road, MM is there and ready to offer support again. And it seems that most people returning for a tune up realize the need early on, long before any significant problems begin to manifest themselves. MM wishes to see no one "hit bottom." MM is all about intervening BEFORE people hit bottom.
The suggested MM limits are: for men no more than 14 drinks per week and no more than four on any given day; and for women no more than nine per week and no more than three on any given day, as these limits are consistent with the avoidance of health problems. However, anyone coming to MM who reduces their drinking and drinks more safely is considered a success. Some choose to drink once a week or even less frequently, although they will exceed the three drink limit on their drinking day. And some find the MM limits too high and choose to drink far less.
There are also a number of MMers who choose to do permanent abstinence, but this does not mean that they need to leave MM for another program -- in fact, few actually leave for this reason. Most prefer to stick around MM, and there is even an online group devoted specifically to MMers doing long term abstinence.
Much of the MM support is still online rather than face to face, although a few communities do have face to face meetings.
Controlled research into controlled drinking programs has conclusively demonstrated that they are far more effective than traditional abstinence based programs. 
MM founder Audrey Kishline, after leaving MM and joining AA, was involved in a drunk-driving accident, killing two people. This has led to a controversy as to whether MM or AA led to this behavior.  
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