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The Moderation Management Programme in 2004:
What Type of Drinker Seeks Controlled Drinking?


Ana Kosok
; International Journal of Drug Policy (IJDP); 17(4); 295-303;  July 2006. Posted: 2006-03-26; Modified: 2006-09-10.

Related resources:  Abstinence, Moderation, and Harm Reduction academic literature

See also:
Overview of Harm Reduction Treatments for Alcohol Problems - Witkiewitza and Marlatt; IJDP; 2006
Harm Reduction and Individually Focused Alcohol Prevention - Neighbors et al.; IJDP; 17(4); 2006
A Research-Based Analysis of the Moderation Management Controversy - Humphreys; Psychiatric Services; 2003
Characteristics and Motives of Problem Drinkers Seeking Help from MM Groups - Klaw et al.; Cog. and Behav. Practice; 2003
Symposium on Moderation Management - Kern, Rotgers, & DeLuca; 109th Annual Convention, Amer. Psychological Assoc.; 2001
The Controlled Drinking Debates: Four Decades of Acrimony - Brook Hersey, Psy.D., 2001
The Abstinence vs. Harm Reduction Wars of Summer 2000 - Addiction Medicine Shoots Self in Foot, Again
Harm Reduction for Alcohol and Drug Use Disorders Weekly - RSS feed:
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Moderation Management (MM) is a mutual aid support group that helps problem drinkers reduce drinking to non-harmful levels. This study describes member characteristics as part of an organisational evaluation. The results are compared to those of an earlier survey.

An anonymous survey was distributed to all members in the online and face-to-face MM groups. Respondents (N= 272) reported demographic characteristics, drinking history, frequency/amount of drinking, alcohol dependence, life problems six months prior to MM, drinking goals upon programme entry, and pre-MM help sought. Data were analysed for the entire group and by programme delivery format: online-only (OL), face-to-face only (F2F), and both (Both).

Members had a mean age of 44 years, and were 66% female, 98% White, 90% US residents, 80% employed, 54% married, 94% college educated; 77% had an annual income over $50,000; 54% had not sought prior help. The pre-MM mean number of drinks per week was 34 (S.D. 20, range 0 - 105), dependence score was 11 of a possible 39 (S.D. 5, range 0 - 24), and number of life problems was 1.9 (S.D. 1.4, range 0 - 6) of a possible 6. The OL group was younger than the other two groups. The F2F group had sought more prior help than the OL group and drank less than the Both group. Those using Both formats sought to move from abstinence to moderation more frequently than the OL group.

People participating in MM are largely White and upper middle class. Participation by women has increased since 1999; MM may be attracting members with a higher level of dependence than previously. As over 50% have not previously sought help, MM is an important addition to other treatment choices. It is an option problem drinkers want.

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Alexander DeLuca, M.D.

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Originally posted: 2006-05-26

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Most recently revised: 2006-09-10
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