Not everyone who drinks excessively is addicted to alcohol. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates problem drinkers outnumber alcoholics 4:1. Unfortunately, not many programs exist that address the needs of people who only want to reduce their alcohol consumption. A Moderation Management program can help you reverse course and correct a drinking problem without fully abstaining from alcohol. To find Moderation Management meetings in your area, call our confidential helpline at 1-888-919-3845 .
The Moderation Management organization was created in 1994 by Audrey Kishline who wanted to develop an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous. Kishline was a problem drinker who was able to continue performing in her job and at school despite her excessive drinking. She also did not experience withdrawal symptoms when she ceased consuming alcohol.
Kishline did not feel her problem with alcohol aligned with the disease theory of alcoholism that serves as the basis for Alcoholics Anonymous and similar abstinence-only recovery programs. While acknowledging that there are some people for whom abstinence is the only solution, Kishline realized that many problem drinkers drank excessively out of habit, not addiction. For these people, a program that helped them regain control of their drinking was the best option. With the help of mental health professionals, she established the Moderation Management organization with this expressed goal in mind.
The Moderation Management program is for people who have alcohol-related problems due to their mild to moderate drinking habits. It is not for those who are physically addicted to alcohol, are chronic drinkers, or who experience withdrawals symptoms when alcohol intake is stopped. If this describes your particular situation, then abstinence-based therapy may be the better option. Contact our private helpline at 1-888-919-3845 for a referral.
The 9 Steps
The goal of a Moderation Management program is to promote a return to responsible drinking habits. Participants are encouraged to recognize risky behavior and are taught the skills they need to make better decisions when it comes to alcohol. To assist them with this goal, people who join Moderation Management must complete the 9 steps.
- Attend onsite or online Moderation Management meetings.
- Do not drink alcohol for 30 days and complete the balance of the steps during that month.
- Contemplate the effect drinking has had on your life.
- Examine your priorities in life and write them down.
- Observe your alcohol consumption patterns and the circumstances surrounding them.
- Study the Moderation Management limits and guidelines regarding drinking in moderation.
- Set a limit on how much you drink and begin taking small steps each week towards achieving that goal.
- Take time to review your progress and revise your goals.
- Keeping making positive changes in your life and attend meetings when you need support.
Moderation Management Meetings
"...Moderation Management meetings provide a safe place for problem drinkers to find support..."
Like Alcoholics Anonymous, Moderation Management meetings provide a safe place for problem drinkers to find support and connect to others who are also working to make positive changes in their lives. Typically, the session begins with an opening statement by the group leader that details the purpose of the meeting and establishes the ground rules for participation.
The meetings are confidential and nonjudgmental. Participates are encouraged to share their experiences to help others and/or receive help overcoming challenges. Typically, Moderation Management meetings are held several times per week. However, they are not compulsory and members can attend as few or as many as they want.
According to the Moderation Management organization, about 30 percent of people who participate in the program eventually enroll into an abstinence-based program. For many people dealing with an alcohol consumption problem, gaining control of alcohol intake can be the first step to overcoming the issue. For more information about the Moderation Management program and to find meetings, call our free confidential helpline at 1-888-919-3845 .