Harm Reduction is Effective in Reducing Alcohol and Drug Problems
HAMS is a free peer-led support and information group for anyone who wants to change their drinking behaviors for the better. The acronym HAMS stands for Harm reduction, Abstinence, and Moderation Support.
Harm reduction consists of practical, effective strategies to reduce the harm or negative results of any high risk behaviors such as heavy drinking or drug use. The approach is nonjudgmental and helps people regardless of the extent of their risky behavior.
Harm reduction doesn’t try to force people into abstinence or any other behavior that they don’t choose for themselves. It accepts whatever harm reduction goals people set for themselves and supports them in achieving their goals.
The approach is based on the fact that high risk behaviors have always existed and will continue to exist. Instead of unrealistically attempting to prevent these behaviors, harm reduction works to minimize their harmful effects.
Harm reduction is humane and compassionate. It doesn’t condemn people for their choices but helps improve their well-being.
HAMS points out that “Harm reduction works on the premise that it is easier to get people to make small changes than to get them to make big changes. Because of this it is possible to have a far greater positive impact on society by getting a large number of people to make small positive changes than by getting only a few people to make big changes. It is easier and far more effective to get people to use seat belts than to eliminate the automobile and driving entirely. It is easier and far more effective to get people to have safe sex than to attempt to make people stop having sex entirely. And it is easier and far more effective to teach people how to plan their drinking and drink safely than to try and eliminate recreational intoxication entirely. Prohibition and coerced abstinence do not work. Harm reduction does.” Indeed, scientific evidence demonstrates the effectiveness of harm reduction.
To learn more about this free program, visit HAMS or call 347-678-5671.
About the founder of HAMS
Kenneth Anderson, M.A., is identified as an alcoholism expert by Psychology Today, which describes him as “the founder and CEO of HAMS: Harm Reduction for Alcohol, a support group for people who want to make any positive change in their drinking habits from safer drinking to reduced drinking to quitting alcohol altogether. He is also the author of the book How to Change Your Drinking: a Harm Reduction Guide to Alcohol. Anderson has served as Online Director for Moderation Management and worked in the trenches of harm reduction doing needle exchange in Minneapolis. He is a regular presenter at the National Harm Reduction Conference and also works as the Director of Development at the Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center.”
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