Those with alcohol use disorders or who engage in regular alcohol abuse should seek out professional treatment. Moderation Management meetings provide a supportive environment that encourages individuals concerned about their drinking behaviors to learn to control their drinking before it becomes too severe. Like many social support groups, Moderation Management meetings are free, and the program is supported by donations from individual members. Before going any further, it is important to complete the story of Ms. Kishline as it offers a valid perspective regarding her specific struggles with her alcohol use disorder. She officially posted her decision on her formal email list and documented that she would continue to support Moderation Management for some individuals.

  • Though sobriety has a clear definition, you may still be asking yourself, what is sobriety, and what will it mean to me?
  • It may be said by way of justification that there are worse things than smoking—hating, for example—and that is true.
  • When a person chooses to be abstinent, it means that they refrain from all alcohol consumption for a duration of time.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous and other abstinence-based programs view moderation management as too flexible to provide lasting benefits.

It’s a healthy step in a positive direction, and is often achievable with medication. These individuals may be naturally finding ways in their environment to help them reduce or abstain (e.g., seeking social support), for example, or automatically using cognitive strategies to help them stick to limits on days they drink. Studies have shown that in some cultures there are a small percentage of people who can return to moderate drinking.

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Forgive yourself, learn from it and remember that a commitment applies to what we plan for the future. Abstinence may not be a realistic solution with some addictions, such as eating and in some cases sexual addictions. For these addictions moderation is the prescribed course of action. Even in these instances commitment to moderation is an important factor for success.

And now there is even a treatment center focused on moderation as a treatment goal. Other critics have concerns that the MM program will give abstinent substance abusers the idea that they can return to using and keep it under control. Supporters say that the program doesn’t entice relapse, and those who have such ideas about MM generally would have relapsed anyway. The Moderation Management organization came along in 1994 as a controversial counterpart to the more traditional and abstinence-minded Alcoholics Anonymous.

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Drug and Alcohol Moderation Management (MM) is based on principles that are also used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The primary focus of the program is learning moderation regarding alcohol, but the principles of the program can be extended to other drugs of abuse. The MM organization attempts to help individuals with alcohol abuse issues, who do not have a physical dependence on alcohol, maintain moderate alcohol use.

More people than ever are recognizing the negative effects of drinking alcohol and re-evaluating how it shows up in their life. As a physician on the Monument platform, I speak with patients every day who are looking to change their drinking habits in order to improve their health and happiness. Once they’ve decided they want to make a change, a question many people find themselves asking is whether sobriety or moderation is a better option for them.

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These peripheral things in themselves aren’t too tempting. Once you’ve had that first taste, though, it takes an almost superhuman strength to stop. Possibly there are young people in our movement who, not having previously had experience with alcohol, may have been led, through persuasive propaganda, to believe that it is “smart” to drink or that liquor can be used moderately without harm. The answer to such arguments is that it is never smart to be fooled, alcohol abstinence vs moderation duped, or imposed on by error, and that evil cannot be used temperately. To advocate the moderate use of alcohol is equivalent to advocating temperate use of poison, for that, according to material belief, is what alcohol is—a poisonous, habit-forming drug. Those who advocate the moderate use of intoxicants might just as consistently advocate moderate stealing, moderate lying, or the moderate indulgence of any sin or vice as being justifiable.

We will work collaboratively with you to formulate a treatment plan that is effective, feasible, and makes sense. We will discuss with you the pros and cons of abstinence and the pros and cons of moderation. And we will respectfully offer you our professional advice and recommendations. As part of the evaluation process, we help clients understand where they are in terms of the nature and severity of their alcohol problem and their chances of succeeding at moderation.

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Rethinking drinking and smart recovery are their ultimate goals. Moderation management is a method you can use to address excessive drinking and manage drinking behaviors. Not everyone who drinks alcohol will suffer from harmful consequences, however. Alcohol can be enjoyed responsibly by adults of the legal drinking age of 21.

Their decision is often the result of failed attempts at controlled drinking and/or suffering severe alcohol-related consequences. These health risks can be severe, and some even contribute to alcohol-related mortality rates. On the other hand, upon cutting back on drinking, many heavy drinkers experience improvements in sleep, cognitive function, weight loss, productivity, interpersonal relationships, energy, and overall mental health. Your specific health goals, health risks, and medical history may play a role in your choice to either moderate or abstain from alcohol.

Abstinence vs. Moderation Management

Moderation can also be a more complicated concept than sobriety because it can look a lot different from person to person. Depending on someone’s history with alcohol, the severity of their alcohol use disorder, their health goals, and other personal and social factors, moderation might mean any number of things. Moderating your drinking may mean cutting back to one beer a day, only having a glass of wine on special occasions, or even only going out twice a month instead of every weekend. Any of these could represent moderation, and it all depends on the individual. While research shows long-term benefits to abstinence, this approach can leave out those who want to change their drinking habits but are not ready to abstain completely.