Audrey Kishline and the Dangers of Moderation


Sober Recovery Expert Author

Moderation Management is a self-help group that presents moderation instead of total abstinence as a way to recovery. Like any recovery program, there are ground rules. At MM, women are allowed no more than 9 drinks a week while men are allowed no more than 14 drinks a week. This is only after one full month of total abstinence. Afterwards, members are allowed “moderate drinking” while keeping a suggested 3 or 4 days of total abstinence every week.

Despite building a case for the option of moderation in recovery, Audrey Kishline, who founded MM in 1994, had trouble staying within the guidelines of the organization herself. For several years she was actually allowing herself about 30 drinks per week—something she hid from the membership. Finally, in January 2000, she made her confession to members and decided to go to the abstinence route in her own recovery.

There are two usually suggested methods for addiction recovery: abstinence and moderation. However, could the latter just worsen the problem instead of help?

However, to the shock of many, Kishline was involved in a head-on collision while driving in an alcoholic blackout only two months later. A 12-year-old girl and her father were killed at the scene. Kishline was sentenced to jail for four and a half years and was released on parole after three and a half years. The parole condition was that she had to abstain from drinking any alcohol for 2 years.

To her own destruction, she gave in to temptation one night and walked into a liquor store. A friend called the parole officer and Audrey went back to prison for 42 days. Her family life had been crumbling at this point, and she and her husband eventually divorced. In 2014, Audrey Kishline, who has changed her name back to her maiden name Audrey Conn, died from a probable suicide, leaving many to wonder if leaving the door open to alcohol is a legitimate way to treat alcoholism.

For those struggling with addiction, the simplest, easiest and most effective means to stop repeating past harmful habits is total abstinence. It is easier on the person committed to changing their addictive behavior to give up the substance altogether rather than go through the self-punishment of trying to control the behaviors. Contact a treatment center as soon as possible and find a program that can help you address the problem right away.

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