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Make Alcohol Harm Reduction Your New Year's Resolution This Year

NEW YORK, Dec. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Every year when New Year's rolls around, countless Americans make resolutions to change their drinking habits for the better. Although some people may succeed in changing their alcohol habits just by making a resolution, most will fail unless they do a bit more. Alcohol expert Kenneth Anderson of The HAMS Harm Reduction Network tells us that the key elements to successful behavioral change are the following:

  • Setting realistic goals
  • Detailed planning
  • Getting accurate information
  • Behavior monitoring
  • Getting support

Anderson says that rigid, black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking often leads people to set unrealistic goals like quitting alcohol for life on the spur of the moment. This frequently backfires and leads people to drink more than ever once they fall off the wagon. What is far more successful is for each person to choose the goal best suited to him or her as an individual -- whether that goal is safer drinking, reduced drinking, or quitting.

Research by people like Dr. Alan Marlatt shows that people who do not choose to quit alcohol will do better with a plan for safer drinking or reduced drinking than with nothing at all. And even people who do choose to quit alcohol will do better if they have a back-up plan for harm reduction in case they slip up.

The HAMS Harm Reduction Network offers a whole toolbox of techniques to help people change their drinking for the better, including:

  • A cost benefit analysis (CBA) to help you decide if your best goal is safer drinking, reduced drinking, or quitting
  • Risk ranking worksheets
  • Plan building work sheets
  • Behavior charting worksheets
  • Harm reduction support groups

HAMS is lay-led and free-of charge. HAMS offers both live and online support groups for people who wish to change their drinking for the better. The HAMS website also offers a wealth of information about alcohol and about behavioral change.

So if 2010 is your year to change your drinking for the better, come visit the HAMS web site today!

    Kenneth Anderson

SOURCE The HAMS Harm Reduction Network, Inc

SOURCE The HAMS Harm Reduction Network, Inc
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