Inquirers, triers, and buyers of an alcohol harm reduction self-help organization

  • Klaw E
  • Horst D
  • Humphreys K
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Moderation Management (MM) is the only self-help organization designed
to help problem drinkers who wish to moderate their alcohol consumption
rather than abstain. Experienced MM members tend to be highly educated
and employed and have minimal signs of physical dependence on alcohol or
co-occurring drug use. As a result, MM is sometimes dismissed as an
organization that attracts only ``the worried well'', or, is initially
accessed by a wide range of problem drinkers but ultimately retains only
``easy cases'' as enduring members (e. g., alcoholic individuals are
tempted to join MM but relapse and drop out immediately). Both of these
possibilities were evaluated by comparing 445 nonmembers who were called
MM's helpline ({''}inquirers'' or ``callers''), 41 early stage MM
members ({''}triers''), and 124 experienced MM members ({''}buyers'').
In general, experienced MM members reported the most severe drinking
histories, followed by early stage members and then by callers, whose
reported problems were quite modest. Measures of social stability and
resources did not tend to differentiate the groups. Thus, it appears
that contrary to what some have speculated, even though MM does attract
a relatively privileged population in demographic terms, those with more
serious alcohol problems are the most likely, rather than the least
likely to become long-term MM members.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Addiction recovery
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Mutual help
  • Problem drinker
  • Self-help groups

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  • Elena Klaw

  • Doyanne Horst

  • Keith Humphreys

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