Does the Moderation Management Approach to Recovery Work?
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Does the Moderation Management Approach to Recovery Work?

Some people commit to lifelong sobriety by deciding, once and for all, to abstain from the drugs and alcohol that put them into the dark pit of addiction.

For others in recovery, the tried-and-true path of abstinence is not the only way to achieve sobriety, nor is it realistic. This is particularly true for people who have tried to completely do away with their urges to drink and found that the effort just didn’t work for them.

Instead of overindulging in their substance of choice to the point of abuse, moderation management followers continue to drink within their personal, controlled limits. This approach is mostly used among people who drink alcohol.

What Is Moderation Management?

Moderation Management (MM), an organization founded in 1994, offers a less traditional route to recovery. It defines itself as “a behavioral change program and national support group network for people concerned about their drinking and [who] desire to make positive lifestyle changes.”

“MM empowers individuals to accept personal responsibility for choosing and maintaining their own path, whether moderation or abstinence. MM promotes early self-recognition of risky drinking behavior, when moderate drinking is a more easily achievable goal,” the organization says.

Moderation Management promotes a focus on personal responsibility for recovery from a drinking problem, in particular, and gives its members tools and support as they track patterns of their alcohol use. The organization also says it is a good place for beginning stage problem drinkers to address a drinking problem. From there, people can decide if the group is for them.

No Alcohol for 30 Days

The program requires all who follow it to abstain from alcohol for 30 days upon joining the program. After that period is completed, alcohol is gradually reintroduced into the picture along with a plan to limit how much they drink. The free, nine-step program, which has been professionally reviewed, according to MM’s website, also gives members information about alcohol, guidelines for moderate drinking and limits, exercises that help them monitor their alcohol intake, goal-setting techniques, and self-management strategies.

Among these strategies is counting how many drinks are expected before the first drink is consumed. The goal is to change the behaviors, which the organization believes are learned.

Who Is the Moderation Approach For and Not For?

Before people decide to go with the moderation approach to recovery, they are encouraged to give some serious thought as to whether they have the ability to control their drinking. Being honest about this can provide some direction on what steps to take. While it is empowering that no one is in control of his or her alcohol intake or drug use, the truth is that’s often not the case for people who have a habit of abusing alcohol and other substances.

People who have a pattern of planning to have one drink and end up drinking more than intended do not have self-awareness and self-discipline, so the moderation path to recovery is not for them at this point in their lives.

When Moderation Management Isn’t Realistic

Determining when social drinking has turned into problem drinking or an alcohol use disorder can be difficult. But the inability to reduce or stop problematic drinking that endangers the life, health, and safety of the drinker can be characterized as having a psychological dependence, or an addiction.

This condition is better addressed at a professional facility that focuses on helping people recover from alcohol and drug addiction.

A substance abuse treatment program offers benefits to a person in the beginning stages of an alcohol problem or with an alcohol use disorder. Among them are:

  • Detoxification services
  • Group Therapy
  • Individual Therapy
  • 12-step programs
  • Peer support
  • Aftercare support
  • Relapse prevention

Make Your Way to a Safe, Healthy Life at the Palm Beach Institute

There is no one way to achieve a state of recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. What works for one or some will not work for all. If you have acknowledged that your substance abuse is past the point of moderation, call us today at 1-855-960-5456, and speak with a recovery specialist who has helped countless individuals begin the journey toward a better, healthier life of sobriety and fulfillment. Don’t wait—a better life is only a phone call away.

 

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