The official handbook of Moderation Management, a non-profit, national self-help program that supports moderate drinking as a reasonable and attainable recovery goal for problem drinkers. Based on her own unsatisfactory experience with abstinence-based programs, Kishline offers inspiration and a step-by-step program to help individuals avoid the kind of drinking that detrimentally affects their lives.
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Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs have helped thousands recover from addictive behaviors. Yet these programs do not work for everyone. These two titles offer other choices. Moderate Drinking is the official handbook of Moderation Management (MM), a nonprofit organization founded in 1993 by Kishline for problem drinkers who want to cut back. This approach, although highly controversial in America, has already been successfully implemented abroad and is making strides in this country. Kishline skillfully argues against using the disease model for alcoholism and outlines her philosophy and goals. She carefully and specifically details who should not try her methods. Overall, this is a helpful book. Still other alternatives to conventional treatments are described in Sober and Free. Kettelhack, a gay recovering alcoholic and author of several works, including First Year Sobriety (HarperSanFrancisco, 1992), uses individual case histories to illustrate his argument that recovery is possible by many methods. According to the author, each person must find the way that works best for him/her. Moderate Drinking should be purchased by all public and alcohol studies libraries. If space and budgets permit, Sober and Free should also be included. Together, these books help balance the plethora of works on abstinence and conventional treatments.
January Adams, Franklin Twp. P.L., Franklinville, N.J.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Kishline, founder and president of Moderation Management, presents a nine-step plan for those who wish to moderate their alcohol intake rather than quit altogether. She aligns herself with those scientists who believe there is no biological basis for alcoholism, which leads Kishline to the conclusion that drinking to excess is a "learned behavior" rather than a disease. However, she is careful to point out that chronic drinkers--those severely dependent on alcohol--must abstain from alcohol to see any life improvement. But problem drinkers--those who drink too much but whose lives are essentially intact--might benefit from a program of drinking reduction. Kishline's steps include setting up moderation limits, finding balance in behaviors, taking responsibility for one's actions, and setting priorities. Not for everyone with a drinking problem but meant to fill the gap between overdrinking and complete abstinence. Brian McCombie
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