The troubled history of the Moderation Management (MM) Network is fading slowly and allowing the program to reintroduce a nuanced approach to treating addiction.
Founded in 1994 as an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous’s (AA) strict abstinence program, MM was derailed when its founder (who had since left MM and tried AA), Audrey Kishline, killed a father and daughter in a drunk driving car collision in 2012, and later took her own life. Marc Kern, MM's long-time director, says AA’s high relapse rate is a major reason he thinks a moderate approach should be explored by people who find themselves drinking (or smoking marijuana) to excess. The program advises 30 days sober to start then a slow reintroduction of alcohol and eventually no more than 14 drinks a week for men, nine for women, over no more than three or four days a week. There is no spirituality component that is a turn-off for some who turn to AA.
Are there some types of people better suited to MM? Does it work for people who might have family history of alcoholism? Have you or anyone you know tried MM? What was your experience? Does it simply turn people into functional alcoholics? Should MM start counseling chronic marijuana smokers?
Marc Kern, Ph.D., Chairman of the Board, Moderation Management Network; Licensed Clinical Psychologist with Alternatives Addiction Treatment in Beverly Hills