Assumptions of MM:
- Problem drinkers should be offered a choice of behavioral change goals.
- Harmful drinking habits should be addressed at a very early stage, before problems become severe.
- Problem drinkers can make informed choices about moderation or abstinence goals based upon educational information and the experiences shared at self-help groups.
- Harm reduction is a worthwhile goal, especially when the total elimination of harm or risk is not a realistic option.
- People should not be forced to change in ways they do not choose willingly.
- Moderation is a natural part of the process from harmful drinking, whether moderation or abstinence becomes the final goal. Most individuals who are able to maintain total abstinence first attempted to reduce their drinking, unsuccessfully. Moderation programs shorten the process of "discovering" if moderation is a workable solution by providing concrete guidelines about the limits of moderate alcohol consumption.