My name is ________ and I'm the discussion leader tonight.
Welcome to this meeting of Moderation Management. We are a group concerned about our drinking. The only requirement for participation is sharing this concern.
The purpose of Moderation Management is to provide a supportive environment for healthy decision-making about drinking and lifestyle. MM meetings are safe, confidential, and non-judgmental. MM support groups are not treatment or therapy. We're here to assist each other with the elimination of any harm related to alcohol use.
The research-based guidelines for moderate drinking emphasize good health and safety. MM recommends No Drinking and Driving. We share our strategies for moderation and balance, which include techniques for behavior change and managing negative emotions.
The strength of this program lies in the members of MM. We are here to share our experiences and to help each other change. Individuals' goals and progress vary, therefore we offer support but do not dictate behavior. We do ask members to refrain from drinking prior to meetings and to maintain confidentiality.
We usually begin by inviting each person in turn to say a few words about his/her current situation. If you are new to the group, tell us what's been going on in your life and what brings you here. If you are already following a plan of moderation, tell us a bit about it and how it is working for you. If you are still feeling your way toward an approach that will work for you, let us know your latest thoughts and impressions.
MM Meeting Ground Rules
- An MM meeting is a safe, protected and confidential space. If you are concerned about your drinking, you are welcome here.
- We are here to help each other. The appropriate attitude is one of mutual respect and tolerance.
- People should not come to MM meetings intoxicated and we suggest abstaining from drinking altogether on meeting days.
- We discourage our members from socializing together in drinking situations, and alcohol is never allowed at meetings or official MM-related activities.
- We share our experiences and our knowledge; we do not stand in judgment of others and we try to avoid giving personal advice.
- We understand that individuals may choose paths other than ours; they are welcome if they are concerned about their drinking.
Nine Steps Toward Moderation and Positive Lifestyle Changes
- 1. Attend meetings or on-line groups and learn about the program of Moderation Management.
- 2. Abstain from alcoholic beverages for 30 days and complete steps three through six during this time.
- 3. Examine how drinking has affected your life.
- 4. Write down your life priorities.
- 5. Take a look at how much, how often, and under what circumstances you had been drinking.
- 6. Learn the MM guidelines and limits for moderate drinking.
- 7. Set moderate drinking limits and start weekly “small steps” toward balance and moderation in other areas of your life.
- 8. Review your progress and update your goals.
- 9. Continue to make positive lifestyle changes and attend meetings whenever you need ongoing support or would like to help newcomers.
A Moderate Drinker:
When you have made the healthy decision to drink less, and you stay within moderate limits, you should not experience any health, personal, family, social, job-related, financial, or legal problems due to alcohol. The suggested guidelines below allow for a degree of individual interpretation, because moderation is a flexible principle and is not the same for everyone. The suggested limits, however, are more definite.
A Moderate Drinker:
- considers an occasional drink to be a small, though enjoyable, part of life.
- has hobbies, interests, and other ways to relax and enjoy life that do not involve alcohol.
- usually has friends who are moderate drinkers or nondrinkers.
- generally has something to eat before, during, or soon after drinking.
- usually does not drink for longer than an hour or two on any particular occasion.
- usually does not drink faster than one drink per half-hour.
- usually does not exceed the .055% BAC moderate drinking limit. (see Note 1 below)
- feels comfortable with his or her use of alcohol (never drinks secretly and does not spend a lot of time thinking about drinking or planning to drink).
The MM Limits:
- Strictly obey local laws regarding drinking and driving.
- Do not drink in situations that would endanger yourself or others.
- Do not drink every day. MM suggests that you abstain from drinking alcohol at least 3 or 4 days per week.
- Women who drink more than 3 drinks on any day, and more than 9 drinks per week, may be drinking at harmful levels.(See Note 2 below for definition of a “standard” drink)
- Men who drink more than 4 drinks on any day, and more than 14 drinks per week, may be drinking at harmful levels.
- 1. Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) charts are available at MM meetings.
- 2. Standard drink: one 12 oz-beer (5% alcohol), one 5-oz glass wine (12% alcohol), or 1 and 1/2 oz of 80-proof liquor (40% alcohol).
These “number of drinks” limits are LIMITS and not TARGETS. Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) charts are more accurate than number of drink limits because they take into account weight, sex, and rate of drinking. If you are very light in weight use the BAC upper limit of .O55%. Some researchers advise a limit of one drink per day for older adults (55+).
The limits used by MM are based on research published in 1995 in the American Journal of Public Health, by Dr. Martha Sanchez-Craig, Addiction Research Foundation, Toronto, Canada and other published limits.
Thank you for attending this meeting of Moderation Management. In order to protect the privacy of our members, we ask that “…what you hear here, and who you see here, stays here.” Remember that moderation is the avoidance of extremes and that management is the art of self-control. These two powerful skills can help you achieve balance in your life and face the challenges of everyday living.